Sunday, 3 August 2014

DIY: natural homemade facial moisturizer


For the video version of this recipe, click here.

For the longest time I've been on the search for a completely natural moisturizer for my face. I have used a moisturizer since I was really young and I'd have to say it's one of the most important parts of my skincare regime.

I have tried coconut oil, shea oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, safflower seed oil, vitamin e oil, and they all have a tendency to make my skin break out, so I avoid oils. Recently I realized that glycerin might be a good option: I figured it's the main ingredient in most lotions that have never caused me a problem, and it's water-soluble. And that's how this super simple, two-ingredient moisturizer spray was born. I love using it on my skin and it provides the same amount of moisture as any other lotion.

Vegetable glycerine is great for dry skin; it's a humectant meaning it helps to draw and retain moisture. It's water-soluble, which I love as it's not a heavy oil, and it leaves your skin super soft.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable glycerine (I use Now's non-gmo glycerine)
  • a little under 3oz water
  • empty 3oz spray bottle (I got mine from the travel section in Target)




Directions:

Simply add 1/2 tbsp of glycerin into the empty bottle, add water, twist on cap and shake the mixture together. If you're looking for extra moisture, you can use 1 full tbsp. I just find it takes a little longer for your skin to absorb it. For an additional touch, add a drop or two of your favourite essential oil to give it a refreshing or soothing scent. Lavender, grapefruit or tangerine would work well.

Spray onto hands or directly on face, and gently massage into skin.

And that's it -- let me know if you give it a try! Do you moisturize? What works best for your skin?

Meghan

Friday, 1 August 2014

july reflection 2014


I have had a terrible month. I'm happy to say (crossing my fingers) that now that the first of August has come along, things are perhaps officially starting to look up. There is not one or two things that troubled me this past little while, but many. Too many. Too much. Unbearable overwhelm. The worst possible things. Or, at least, too many bad things all at the same time.

It all started with my 1 year old cat, Juniper "Junie" who spontaneously broke her hip on a sunday when all regular veterinary offices were closed. $2000 later, she underwent a femoral head ostectomy. The whole ordeal was maybe just a little unexpected.

Of course a day or two later, after many sleepless hours of managing her sedated, stubborn, aggressive refusal to take her pain medication or wear her cone, my car, in which I had only just purchased six weeks prior, decided it was a fine time to stall on me. This wasn't even the first time it happened. Needless to say, I was a combination of absolutely furious, hysterical, and hyperventilating all the way home whilst revving the engine in park to keep it from shutting off at red lights.

The day got even more fantastic when I arrived home only to discover Junie has torn out half her stitches, with a vet on the phone telling me this is an emergency. Keep in mind, all in one afternoon I've got a car that doesn't work, a cat in need of immediate assistance, and I just so happen to need to be at work in an hours time, all the while panicking about just how many more dollars I will need to put in to anything at this point.

My adrenal glands were definitely on the verge of exploding in July. I literally have never cried so many consecutive days in a row.

The other four or five unfortunate events I'm not even going to discuss, because things just got plain weird by the fourth week of the month. But as of now, I am finally finding my ground again, and things I think will be just fine. Things feel as a haze it seems, like when a terrible storm passes and it's all a mere memory.

If there's one thing I've learned this month, it's to breathe. And to remember that this too shall pass, and that there are indeed lessons in everything: like don't buy a mini cooper, and make good decisions. I was, in essence, robbed of too many dollars and on more than one occasion this month. Car purchasing is no walk in the park, and salespeople are terrifyingly greedy.

On a positive note, my car situation has improved dramatically, and I finally obtained the car I wish I got all along: my beloved Toyota Yaris! Hello reliability!

It feels good to rant.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

recipe: easy green smoothie


I used to be really terrible at making smoothies, but over the years I've learned a thing or two and now really enjoy throwing them together and playing around with different ingredients. I want to share a very basic but delicious green smoothie recipe that I shared on my youtube channel recently, too.
*Tip: I like to buy packages of frozen fruit and thaw what I need for my smoothies. I find frozen fruit makes them too icy and soft fruit makes them smoother.

Easy Green Smoothie

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup mango (fresh or you can thaw frozen fruit)
  • 1/3 cup peaches or pineapple (fresh or you can thaw frozen fruit)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • handful baby spinach
  • few ice cubes (optional)
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth!

What are some of your favourite smoothie ingredients?

Meg

Sunday, 13 July 2014

natural cold sore remedies


I get cold sores. About once a year. Ever since I was really little. *cries*. And I just got over one so I thought this would be the perfect topic to discuss.

As much as I wish I didn't get them, and feel like my life is over the moment I know I'm getting one (seriously), there is simply nothing I can do about the fact that the virus will forever lie dormant in my system. However, I have a few tricks up my sleeve on how to prevent them from coming, or to at the very least, reduce their severity and get rid of them faster, which is always the first thing that comes to mind.

Also known as fever blisters, these common, small little annoying and unsightly outbreaks on the lip area are probably one of the worst things one should have to deal with, in my humble opinion. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) that lies inactive in nerve cells until one of many triggers cause it to become active again (HSV-1 is not to be confused with HSV-2, which is sexually transmitted). Triggers include:

  • stress, anxiety
  • compromised immune system
  • general illness (cold, flu, etc.)
  • fatigue
  • excessive sun exposure
  • trauma to affected area
  • menstruation
I know for myself, if I'm really emotionally stressed or if my anxiety is particularly heightened, I tend to be more prone to getting one. Not fun. It's important to remember that a weakened immune system plays a huge role, too. Supporting these things are truly of primary importance. 

Some things to consider for prevention include the herbs ashwagandha or rhodiola for some nourishing, adaptogenic, anti-stress support. Magnesium is my favourite mineral and is very calming and anti-stress. Meditation and yoga are always good, too. Support your immune system with things like vitamin C, zinc, and avoiding dairy and sugar.

Stages of a Cold Sore:

The stages of a cold sore suck. They just suck. The first stage involves the infamous tingle followed by redness and the inevitable fate. The second stage involves the dreaded blister, and for me personally, an insanely swollen lip. This stage is particularly uncomfortable, itchy, sometimes painful, embarrassing, and just overall bad and sucks a lot. It lasts about 1-2 days. The third and final stage is the friendly ol' scab at which point it becomes very tolerable and free of swelling. For me this begins on the third day and lasts for about 4-5 days, with the total duration of about a week or so.

My Absolute Essentials for Warding off Cold Sores:

Lysine: I cannot stress enough the importance of taking the amino acid Lysine internally. I take it as a supplement, at least 3,000mg per day. Sometimes I'll pop a few more. Lysine definitely makes a huge difference in the duration and severity of the cold sores I experience.

Lysine works by essentially blocking arginine. HSV requires arginine to replicate and arginine itself is suggested to stimulate replication of the virus. In this way it's vital to avoid foods high in arginine (chocolate, peanuts, almonds and other nuts and seeds) and eat loads of foods high in lysine (vegetables, legumes, fish, turkey, chicken).

Ointment: Topically I love to use a lysine cream called Super Lysine+. It's a blend of zinc oxide, lysine, echinacea, propolis, goldenseal and a few other ingredients that I find really aid healing and reducing duration.

Supplemental lysine and the lysine cream are pretty much the top two items I find are most important, but additionally I like to use a few other soothing creams to aid healing and cellular repair:

Aloe blend: This time around I used a skin gel called Nature's Aid, which is a blend of aloe vera, tea tree oil, witch hazel, rosemary and vitamin e. It is so soothing and has literally dozens of uses for the skin. It's antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory.

Oil of Oregano: This is one of those things that everyone should have on hand, for a whole variety of first aid uses. It's extremely antibacterial, antiviral, and actually a natural antibiotic. You can apply a drop or two directly onto the area.

Vitamin E oil: I use vitamin e oil to remove makeup and to moisturize my eye area lightly, but I find it's also nice to use around the cold sore area just to add a bit of moisture as it can get a bit uncomfortable, usually from drying the crap out of it. I take a cotton swab and dab it on where needed.

Arnica Montana: I thought I'd throw this one in for good measure. If you dig homeopathics, then I highly suggest the use of arnica. Arnica is used for injuries, inflammation, bruising, pain, and is a great way to ease pain that may be present. A few pellets taken internally throughout the day will suffice.

That's it for what I wanted to share today, I do hope this helps!

Meghan

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

june favourites | health, food & fashion








On my youtube channel the other day I shared my favourites from the month of June, and I thought I would share them on here as well!

1. Floral skirt - Forever 21
2. Hat - H&M
3. M necklace - Suzy Shier
4. Pearl earrings - my mum (I've wanted a pair of pearl earrings for ages but I'm not able to wear many earrings as they make my ears itchy. My mom had a pair of gold pearl earrings from years ago that she no longer wants and they don't irritate me at all! I was so happy!)
5. Cucumber & Calendula soap - The Soap Works (from the health food store). I am loving the scent of cucumber these days, and I'm currently on the lookout for some extract!
6. Nut milk bag - came with my Vitamix!
7. Limes - I have been loving limes lately; in my water, and last night squeezed into my stir fry!

For the full list of the health and style items I loved throughout June, you can check out the video here.

With love,
Meghan

Monday, 23 June 2014

Recipe: Fruit-Infused Detox Water


Hello everyone out there,

It has been little while since I last made a post, so I thought I would share with you three fruit infused "detox water" recipes that I shared on my youtube channel recently. These are so easy to make. I hope  you give them a try, or they simply inspire you to experiment with your favourite herbs and fruits. All of these are super hydrating, refreshing, and gently cleansing.

These measurements are for a 1L sized mason jar. (I love mason jars, I use them for most everything!)

1) Lemon, Cucumber & Mint
  • 1/4 cucumber sliced
  • 1/2 lemon sliced
  • 5-10 fresh mint leaves
  • Add ingredients to container, and fill to the top with water!
Lemon alkalizes the body, and stimulates digestion and liver function.

2) Raspberry, Lime & Cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 lime sliced
  • small handful cilantro sprigs
  • Add ingredients to container, and fill to the top with water!
Lime, like lemon, alkalizes the body, stimulates digestion, and supplies us with many beneficial minerals. Cilantro helps to pull heavy metals out of our body, such as mercury.

3) Strawberry, Grapefruit & Rosemary
  • 2-4 fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 - 1/2 grapefruit, sliced
  • 1-2 sprigs rosemary
  • Add ingredients to container, and fill to the top with water!
Grapefruit is another great refreshing, alkalizing and mineral-rich citrus. Rosemary is known to enhance memory, and helps to support our livers ability to detoxify!

I hope you enjoy these simple detox water recipes! If you've ever made them before, let me know in the comments what some of your favourite combinations are!

With love,
Meghan

Thursday, 5 June 2014

May Favourites









Happy June! I have been wanting to share some of my favourite things from the month of May.

1. Sandals - Old Navy: I already have a pair of these sandals, and I love them so much. They are so comfortable and go with almost everything I wear. I wear them all the time. I got them last year and found them in season again this year and couldn't not get them so that I have another pair once the ones I have wear out!

2. L'Oreal nail polish in Mint #152: For the first time in my life, except maybe once years ago, I bought myself nail polish. The only time I use nail polish is on my toes, rarely ever on my finger nails, and I just never really ever bought myself one as growing up I'd always use what my mom had. But, I decided recently that I want to wear a colour that I like. And I've been loving pastel colours, so I opted for a mint. It is such fun to wear.

3. Sante Coverstick Concealer in No. 1: When it comes to makeup, I like things very simple and fresh. I haven't owned a concealer in a long time and I already have a foundation by the company Sante that I also use lightly, but I picked this one up from the health food store and I'm really liking it to just balance out my skin tone in specific areas. And of course, I like that it is natural-based.

4. Friggin Lip Balm in Vanilla: I am totally obsessed with lip balm, and I will admit that. I love it, and any time I discover a new natural kind I have to have it. I always have lip balm everywhere I go. My newest discovery is by Friggin, and the ingredients are super simple, consisting of a few things like coconut oil and Vitamin E. Vanilla is one of my favourite lip balm flavours.

5. Mason Jars: These are the greatest things to have on hand! I have been loving mason jars these days. They are perfect for smoothies, green juices, tea, storing homemade almond milk, and anything on-the-go. They're also versatile and fun for decor or storage. I have 1L mason jars that I like for juices and storing almond milk, and I recently bought a bunch of 500ml jars for smoothies. I also like using them for drinking tea, and was on the lookout for one with a handle.

6. Oceans Pure Sea Kelp: I love this supplement. I take it for a boost of additional minerals. Kelp is rich in iodine (for a happy thyroid) and trace minerals. It's a very easy liquid supplement to take - it has a light, watery taste.

7. Peasant dress - Target: I love pretty, flowy, floral dresses. This particular floor-length dress is great because it isn't too long on me. At 5'2" it's nice to wear clothes that don't drag on the ground!




Saturday, 24 May 2014

woman refined


Spring is such an inspiring, promising season. So much to look forward to as the days brighten and bloom. There is flourish all around. It has been so nice to see some blossoms, albeit a few weeks late this year, but there are blossoms nonetheless. And there is warm wind, and no need for a jacket, and this my friends, has been nice.

The other day I took a trip to my local bookstore for one of my favourite bi-annual outings: a new journal. I go through one journal about every 6 months, and I simply love choosing a new one. When I finish a journal this means I am on to a new chapter, and it always feels that way when my hands brush over new, blank pages, and my pen meets the paper.

The timing of needing a new journal truly fell at a time where I really do feel I am entering a new chapter. I think I have been entering this new chapter for many moons now, but only recently have I felt more solidity in the changes in my life. I always like to choose the look and feel of a journal based on what represents myself at that time, and the journal I gravitated towards feels simple, contemporary, refined.

Refined has been a major word for me this month. As I have felt myself shifting I have felt a refining within myself. And quite literally, as the definition says, removing impurities and unwanted elements.

That is precisely what I have found myself doing. Removing unwanted elements from my life: opinions, beliefs, obsessions, things, that no longer resonate with me. There has been an unleashing, a letting go, a letting in.

2014 has been the first year where I have actually felt more mature. More responsible. More independent. I've always been an independent person, but for the longest time I always felt like I was still in some sort of teenager stage. As I creep closer to 24 and as I find myself in a space of very invigorating and life-changing scenarios, I realize I am no longer a little girl, and I realize I am indeed a woman.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

How To: Basic Homemade Almond Milk


This morning I made a fresh batch of homemade almond milk, a very simple recipe that I'd like to share today. For the longest time I would use store-bought almond milk until I made it for the first time and realized how incredible easy and quick it is. It also tastes so much better; I find store-bought almond milk has a stronger flavour, whereas homemade almond milk has a much lighter, neutral, real taste.

Almond milk is a great alternative to regular cow's milk. It's easy to digest, and rich in magnesium.

Basic Almond Milk
  • 1 cup soaked almonds (that's about 3/4 cup dried almonds, as they expand once soaked)
  • 4 cups water
Those are the only ingredients you will need! Simple as can be.

Directions

Soak almonds in a bowl for about 12 hours, or overnight. (Soaking nuts releases what are known as "enzyme inhibitors", and allows for optimal digestion). Strain water. Add soaked almonds and water to blender and blend on high speed for 20 seconds.



Wrap a nut milk bag, cheese cloth or kitchen towel over medium sized bowl and pour mixture through. Tighten bag and squeeze, and that's it! This recipe fills one 1L mason jar. Store for up to one week. You can use the leftover almond pulp in any of your favourite smoothies or baking recipes.

This recipe can easily be made into a sweet vanilla or chocolate almond milk.

Enjoy,
Meghan

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Happy May 1st



I am so happy it is now the first of May. April was treacherous, only because I was too busy, and stressed, and stretched to the limit. But mostly life has been great and wild. May is full of more time to myself and space to focus on things that I love. Something has exploded inside of me, and I'm feeling like a lot is changing and simplifying in my life. It always does this time of year where a part of me begins to bloom and revel in fresh starts and new beginnings; where after the winter ceases, the dullness that I became falls away and my eyes and my heart are wide open.

I've just wanted to start fresh. But in the best of ways. As though there is a shedding of old parts of me, and there is a glow underneath that is shining through. I am wholeheartedly excited. I even removed my nose piercing, which was somewhat of a big deal but represented some pretty significant changes in my life. Cleansing. Simplifying. Starting anew.

The turn of the new month is always a great time to reflect. Despite how busy I was in April, it truly was a month for newness as I somehow managed to manifest three of my most desired possessions. Years I have been dreaming of these very things.

In early April I got myself a Vitamix, but my two newest loves are a a Macbook Pro and a Canon Rebel EOS T3i.

I have been in heaven with these and the ability to really truly pour my love for art into what I photograph, film, edit, create.

I am so looking forward to the month of May, and having this weekend off to take some photos in the woods.